Chapter 76: Crimson Devil

Xue Wei looked at the unconscious deserter in front of him, and then he picked up the the sword that the latter had dropped on the floor and slowly walked towards him. 

Everyone held their breaths. All eyes were on Xue Wei as he grinned and lifted the sword above his head before slashing it down, separating the head from the body of the deserter. 

The head rolled on the ground. The eyes were closed and blood sprayed from the headless neck. Xue Wei looked on with a smile on his lips that caused the hearts of the present people to constrict. 

Some of the blood even splashed on Xue Wei's red clothes, but it was hard to see it as his clothes were already red. 

Having finished the battle, Xue Wei looked at the many observers with a cold look. His eyes were as sharp as swords, and his gaze was like an overwhelming attack on the soul of the person he looked at. 

The ones his gaze landed on felt as if their bodies had frozen rock solid. At the same time, they also felt as if their souls were trembling and ready to ascend to the heavens, leaving their bodies for eternity. 

They all were filled with the thought of standing in front of a demon that had spawned from hell. This was not human behavior. The bloodthirst and obvious enjoyment from killing was so demonic that they feared Xue Wei more than ever before. Even the third layered experts were worried. 

So far, Xue Wei had easily dispatched all his opponents. Would he be able to continue? When they were at his cultivation rank, they were incapable of doing what he did now.

"He is the crimson devil of the Heping Kingdom," someone suddenly muttered and the others nodded their heads. "He fights so cold-heartedly that you'd think him inhuman," another agreed. 

"Do you think he chooses to wear red clothes so that you cannot see the blood that splashes back on him?" someone asked, and many looked thoughtful upon hearing this suggestion.

"He is going to be either our biggest hero or the worst calamity for our kingdom," another voice said. 

On the balcony, the commander shook his head. "Everyone knows what this man has gone through." 

"His family got massacred by a Primordial Beast, and he saw his entire village getting murdered right in front of him." 

"Episodes like this change a person. The endless battling that we go through in the army changes a man whether he likes it or not. No one knows if these experiences awoke something that has been sleeping deep inside of him."

"This young man has a devil in his heart, but at the same time, all warriors do to a greater or a lesser extent."

"No one is truly good or evil, that includes Xue Wei and me."

"What happens is that we arrived on the battlefield with a strong mind, mentally sane and prepared to do battle. We then fight with a ferocity that can drive a man mad, slaughtering beast after beast and criminal after criminal." 

"It is at this point we start wondering. Who is the real us? Is it the desperate one on the battlefield fighting with all that they’ve got, drenched in the blood of our enemies, or is it the calm and collected person who stays at home in the time of peace?"

The commander was quiet, but everyone on the balcony had heard him, and all of them shuddered. 

Were they likely to become like Xue Wei? A cold-blooded killing machine that found pleasure in seeing the warm blood trickle down the enemy? 

Xue Wei snorted when he saw the scared expressions on everyone's faces and sat down to meditate. This time, he had used quite some energy, but he had five Seeds of Mirage that were surrounding him. Although he was incapable of restoring the energy spent to summon them immediately, they still protected him. 

Xue Wei took a deep breath. He had not regained any of the energy he had used, and he was about to face a third layer Earth Warrior.

He felt his blood run cold. His killing intent soared, and his will to do battle could no longer be controlled. 

His dark eyes were like the sea in the dead of night, filled with murderous intent, and it was as if this intent was permeating through the five Seeds of Mirage, causing them to be just as dangerous to look at as Xue Wei was. 

A figure appeared on the stage. It was a third layer Earth Warrior, and from his appearance, Xue Wei could guess that he was a criminal.

He carried himself with a haughtiness that a deserter would never have. 

Deserters lived on the edge. They were hunted down by the army and beasts alike, having nowhere to seek refuge. Only those that left the country had a chance at survival, but with the strength one could gain in the Kingdom of Heping, it was not easy to survive in the rest of the continent.

"One against five?!" the criminal called out, filled with unhappiness. "I thought you army folks were eager for a fair battle, and now you want me to fight against five kids?!" 

He glared at Xue Wei and the Seeds of Mirage, when he frowned all of a sudden. "Wait, they are all the same kid. And they are a one layer Earth Warrior. Don't tell me you threw them here for me to kill them as I please?" the criminal laughed out loud. 

"Sure, I will grant you your wish. I will kill him like I killed the last kid that challenged me!"

The commander’s face was ugly. He knew this criminal. He had already killed four geniuses of the genius camp – why on earth had he been summoned? 

It was the man who brought prisoners from the dungeons up unto the platform that decided the matchups, and to have picked this criminal meant that the person in charge of picking experts was against Xue Wei. He might even be trying to directly make things difficult for him, maybe even killing him.

The commander frowned, but when he looked at Xue Wei, he did nothing more. The young man was blazing with intent to fight. His five clones were eager to engage in battle. When one looked at them, it was like looking at a group of wolves that had starved for days and finally found a sizeable prey. 

Grins were all around the faces of the young man and his copies. All of a sudden, all of them vanished from where they were, as all of them had simultaneously activated the Forbidden Rush Movement Technique. 

As they all vanished, the criminal finally started to seem as if something was wrong. He had a hard time locating the many fleeting shadows, and when he noticed one of them he did not know whether or not this was a copy or a real person, making his heart jolt with fear.

He had just spoken such brazen words, claiming that he would kill the kid, but right now he was not even capable of touching him.

"Kid, I don't believe your strength is as great as your speed! Let me stand in instead of your parent and teach you some proper manners, to not ask for more than you can handle!" The criminal refused to give up just like that, but then he felt an overwhelming killing intent that previously had been scattered suddenly intensified, and the person that had been running around suddenly stood still right in front of the criminal with his five copies right behind him.

"What did you just say?" Xue Wei sneered, his first words since he had entered the arena. His eyes were filled with a dense hatred that had not been there before, and the smile on his face had vanished and was replaced by a sneer. 

Xue Wei did not have parents, and the only one he considered his parent was Xiao Lei. 

Hearing this criminal say that he would stand in his parent's place was the same as saying that Xiao Lei had not done a good job as a guardian, and this was something that caused great animosity within Xue Wei. No one was allowed to question Xiao Lei. No one was allowed to criticise him. 

The criminal stuttered and tried to say something, but he felt that he had just descended into hell, that hell’s watchdog was standing right in front of him, ready to gobble him up at any moment. The killing intent was dense, and it kept climbing. 

Xue Wei took a step forward. With each movement, his momentum was growing stronger and stronger. His rage was also clear to see on his face, and his hand was trembling. 

With a flicker of his hand, a sword appeared within it, but just as he reached the criminal, the criminal finally seemed to have regained his senses. With a horrified expression on his face, he panted loudly and widened his eyes in fear. 

"What are you?!" he exclaimed as he was pressed against the formation wall. "I thought we had a chance to fight back; this is straight out slaughtering! I demand justice from the army; this is not acceptable!" 

While he was roaring on top of his lungs, Xue Wei and his copies took one step closer after another. Every dragon had a reverse scale, and Xue Wei had one too. His reverse scale was the ones he held dear, and Xiao Lei was exactly one of these people. 

Xue Wei had already sentenced this person to death. He did not care about the fact that the criminal was a third layer Earth Warrior while he himself was only a one layer, all that mattered to him was to slaughter this person. 

Xue Wei's eyes were like slumbering embers, not fully lit aflame, but filled with hatred and anger, ready to explode at any moment. 

Seeing this, the criminal was wondering what he had said that could have caused this person to transform into the devil himself like this. 

Not rushing, Xue Wei took one step after another towards the criminal. He lifted the sword in his hand and slashed out. The criminal scrambled to the side, and his legs were trembling, but then he gritted his teeth. 

"I am not going to be able to avoid all his attacks," the criminal said under his breath, "but he is two layers beneath me in strength. He might be able to hit me, but if I use my Qi to protect myself, his attacks should not be able to wound me. No matter how intimidating he is and how dangerous he might seem, he is still only a one layer Earth Warrior!" 

The criminal was continuing to tell himself that things would be much better, that he was safe if he just defended himself using his Qi and that Xue Wei was weaker than him by a few layers and thus would not be able to break through his defense. 

The protective layer of Qi managed to fully cover the criminal's body just as the sword came into contact with it. 

Xue Wei had not held back; he had used his entire strength, and the sharpness of the sword was so frightening that some of the girls in the audience closed their eyes as their faces paled. 

The criminal felt a sudden feeling of pain and agony in the arm that he had reached out with to block the sword. However, when he looked at his palm, he saw a deep cut in his hand, a cut so deep that the bone was visible. 

This hand had been protected by both his Qi and the bodily strength he had from being two layers above Xue Wei, yet he still experienced some serious pain and injury.

"How?!" The criminal was livid with anger and filled with disbelief. "How can you wound me?! I am two layers above you! I am using my Qi! You cannot defeat me! I am stronger than you!" The criminal was going mental. He had defeated a few geniuses of his own rank previously, but now he was being defeated at the hands of a weaker expert. Was this even possible? 

"Take back what you said," Xue Wei said, his voice dangerously low. "Don't ever say that you are my parent again." His expression then turned to one of insanity as he laughed out loud. "Oh well! What does it matter? dead men tell no tales!"

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Author: Tinalynge

Editor: Melinum

Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking

Proofreader: Tue